Valve's Newell: “Piracy Is Basically A Non-Issue for Our Company”

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mdahlke4@gmail.com

Just to refresh, as a gamer who goes back when

the ORIGINAL "Origin" was made by Lord British, aka Richard Garriott. It was a fine fine company who made all the Ultima sagas and, in my opinion, help shape alot of the RPG, Dungeon crawlers we have today.

  Garriott sold Origin to EA. Then founded Destination Games.

EA was the one who created there own online mom/pop store and created there own problems.

So if anything, Don't be EA.

 

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wrigleyjames

The thing that bugs me about Steam is if you read the EULA you don't actually own your games. I guess as long as they work it doesn't really matter. Just bugs the hell out of me they would put that in there. I guess while I am bitching.... I own a tower I built and a nice gaming laptop. Can't play 2 different online games at once. I call BS there! They should at least allow one other machine access to the account. I am guessing a lot of us have more than one machine we can play on.

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Holly Golightly

Countless times I have compared Steam to OnLive. People seem to love Steam so much to the point I worry if they were brainwashed or something. It seems rather strange why anybody would be okay with this compromise. When I buy something, I want the ability to play it on my terms. I do not like the idea I have to run a client just to play 1 game. If you ask me, I say Steam is the wrong way to go. We need games to be free of DRM.

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Holly Golightly

I do not understand. People love Steam yet hate Origin when they are essentially the same exact thing! They are both clients that require accounts to log in to run the program. Only difference is you are not forced to run Origins when you launch the game. 

The Russian market... Piracy was only popular in Russia because of region locking. When you lock software based on someone's nationality, then they are going to act like filthy criminals and pirate all of your software because they can. Nothing is secure, and even the toughest encryptions can be cracked. Why not just launch the program internationally? "Think global not local."

I think people should be expressing their hate for Steam as they do with Origins because Valve can easily ban your account just like EA can. No thanks, I prefer GOG and GamersGate which offer DRM-free gaming. Of course, not every game offers DRM-free gaming, and that is fine, but don't force me to launch your program... Otherwise there will be Skidrow cracks that bypass the Steam requirement.

No DRM is "good" DRM. Not every PC gamer is a criminal. If we can not learn to trust, then the good people will find a competition that offers a better alternative. If they can not, they will ultimately pirate your software with pride... Ubisoft! Anyhow, maybe this is why console gaming continues to grow. No forceful DRM programs to launch and log into every damn time. No internet connection required to play. This is how it is meant to be played. I say, why not hate Origins and Steam? They both have the power to ban your accounts which will block your games. Maybe it would be easier if we all just started getting physical copies again? Why does PC gaming have to be so damn political?

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SodaAnt

There's actually plenty of good reaons that people like Steam over Origin. People feel that EA created Origin just to get all the games of theirs onto one platform. Further, if Origin worked perfectly, there would be a lot less complaining. However, I've read so many stories, and seen so many chat logs, of people's problems, that I feel Origin just isn't ready for the prime time. Also, while steam had its share of problems when it came out, it was really the first service of its kind, so it gets a little leeway. But with Origin launching over five years after steam, with no real new features to speak of, but plenty of bugs, its no suprise why gamers don't like it.

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Holly Golightly

But just because something is new does not make it bad. Steam started off terribly, so did Origins. It is only a matter of time Origins becomes just as good as Steam. I prefer Origins because it does not force me to launch the client unlike Steam, which must be logged on each and every time you want to play a game. This makes Origins less intrusive in comparison to Steam.

In my personal opinion, I feel that DRM clients like Steam and Origin are unacceptable. Both of these clients can ban your entire library. Why would anyone want to give such trust to a company who is capable of doing such cruel things to their paid customers? It makes console gaming and pirating a much better alternative. What developers need to do is start trusting their paid customers. Piracy, like shoplifting is inevitable, but a good product will always sell itself.

Hey, a little competition never hurt anybody. I say it is good that Origins is the first competitor against steam. Plus, did you see those Black Friday Deals Origins had? You can't go wrong with hot titles like Batman and Battlefield 3 for half off. Still, I prefer no DRM... So both Steam and Origins are evil... Of course, some people will be diehard fans of Steam, and others for Origins. Nothing wrong.

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Nimrod

uhh no. Origin is nothing more than thinly veiled data harvester. Its designed to make all its money by scanning your entire hard drive and uploading what it finds to its secret servers. That includes tax information and billing recipts. Also, its not needed to play the games, they just ry to force it on you.

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Holly Golightly

I am not sure about the legality of uploading all of your personal files onto a secret server. I am confident EA is definitely not doing this. Plus... What makes you think that Valve is not doing the same thing? You know they record statistics of your hardware and make it public.

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firefox91

I think the piracy of games has a lot to do with the cost of them. They keep going up. A new game used to be sub $50, then $50, now $60. Sorry, I know a lot of development went in to the game but that is just too much. I usually wait until the price comes down on a game before I buy it now. I can't help but feel that developers would sell more copies and have less pirated if the prices were more reasonable. The same applies to movies and music.

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Houndf

It's called inflation.

http://www.coinnews.net/tools/cpi-inflation-calculator/

$50 in 2001 is worth $63.96 today. If anything, we are technically getting a price cut. Blame the economy.

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wrigleyjames

Totally agree that jumping to 60 is complete crap. We can thank COD for that, and that is exactly why I don't own a single COD game. People are paying it... I won't be surprised to see a $60 price tag on Diablo 3. Why not? People are going to pay it.

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LatiosXT

Valve games are great on Steam. Other games are hit and miss. Valve still allows additional DRM on top of the Steam DRM, which it wouldn't matter if you bought a retail copy or a Steam copy. For example, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena still ships with the TAGES DRM on Steam. So does the Direct2Drive copy I have. And so does the hard copy you can buy at a store.

I like Steam since it treats me as a customer in regards to the products I bought. But the products in question may still treat me like a filthy pirate.

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cam022408

This is all well and good but Valve still region locks much of their content! I purchased a copy of L4D2 in asia and the moved to Canada to find I couldn't play it. After months of being ignored by Steam Support their answer was "buy another copy on the Steam Store." I can't take Gabe Newell's statement seriously if he lets his company do things like this to his customers

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JohnyC

Sorry man, I'm having a hard time believing this. I'm not trying to flame you. Just... maybe a little more info for me to understand how that could be possible.

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cam022408

I bought a real copy of the game in HK and then a few months later I moved to Canada. When I went to launch the game it said "This game cannot be played as you are outside of your region" or something to that effect. I contacted Steam and like a week later they sent me a link to their support page that says "Games that are region locked cannot be played outside of that region. These games will be clearly marked on the packaging." When I went back to Steam to say that my packaging had no such warning all they said was "We cannot assist you further with this issue." and would stop replyng to me. Now it is months later and the only way fo rme to play the game I paid for is to purchase another copy for around 40 bucks. I used to love Steam until this happened.

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Nimrod

then just do what STEAM says and pirate a copy or DL a crack. I really dont see why some one would have a moral problem cracking a game in this case.

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Dartht33bagger

Moral of this story: don't move out of your region

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igoka

Because i am kind of Battlefield fan i had to install Origin. After using it for a while i can say Steam is way much better then Origin. I do like rebuild my pc very often wich means reinstalling Windows as well. All my steam games on separate hard drive . So it's just a matter of installing steam client on that  drive and i'm ready to go . With Origin EA made it soo complicated.

First : When you install Origin and you point location don't assume games will be installed there. No sir. You have go to settings and change location. There are two .

Second: Saves . You cannot change that , so if you  forgot backup your My Documents folder you lost.

Third : Punkbuster . I don't know why with Steam i never had that problem . But after I installed Origin I have to install punkbuster manualy and configure it .

To everyone who were saying that you don't have to run Origin all the time like Steam it is not true. Plus you get ad pop out when you boot in to windows , not big issue but still a little bit obtrusive.

 

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Nimrod

You need Origin to install the game but not to play it. DL the crack from pirate bay. Im serious, i found out about it on the EA forum.

Origin i so fucking stupid. Heres how it would work before i bypassd it.

 

Click the BF3 icon on my desk top. Instead of launching BF3, Origin launches. Takes a while. Then i have to click BF3 from wihing Origin. It says Launching BF3. But it doesnt launch BF3 does it? No. It launches god damn Firefox. THEN i ahve to find a server and launch the game. Well it doesnt really launch the game. It just loads the map then once thats done the game starts.

 

Fucking shit. Im never buying an EA game again.

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bling581

I still love BF3, but Origin is horrible and I don't look forward to any other games that are Origin exclusive. While there is some coolness to their web launcher from an information perspective, it's a pain to have to launch a second application just to play your game. On top of it I have a lot of problems with it not launching correctly. I'd rather make choices in game rather than have to select servers or game modes through a web browser.

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ApathyCurve

The key is not to stop all piracy; that's impossible.  It's to curtail casual piracy.  That is the big advantage of the Cloud for selling games, music, books, you name it.  The disadvantages are obvious. 

Love it or hate it, the thing is here to stay.  In another 10 years, hard-disc sales of PC games will be rarer than buggy whips. I daresay hardcopy bookstores will be a rare animal in another twenty years, as well.  As for brick-and-mortar music stores... well, they may as well just close down now.  They're cooked.  Maybe they can have a big party with newspapers in the media afterlife.

My old inner geek, the one who happily browsed for hours in stores like Game Peddler, B. Dalton's, Babbages, etc., rails against the idea of online DRM.  But my more modern, informed, mature geek understands It's The Way Things Are Gonna Be -- the valiant but ultimately futile recent efforts of GOG notwithstanding.  Just be sure to maintain a few oldies-but-goodies in the offline vault for those times when the cable service gets twitchy.

There's always a price to pay for progress.  Always.

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praetor_alpha

In another 10 years, hard-disc sales of PC games will be rarer than buggy whips.

I was not aware that games were ever sold on hard disks.

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bling581

You know what he means, stop trolling.

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bling581

There's always going to be a group of people smarter than those that create the DRM for media. Companies need to learn to get along with the idea or keep going crazy fighting it and stomp on your customers in the process. There are some types of DRM that aren't so bad, but some companies go way out of the way to make their customer's experience a pain.

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Trekker1091

"piracy is basically a non-issue for our company."

Really?  So all those torrents I keep seeing of all those games that everyone including you, Valve, sells are all fakes?  I guess they're all just not there, huh?  Yeah, I think you might want to rephrase your wording a little bit there, Mr. Newell.  Valve isn't the "piracy-free" company you think it is.  No offense to you or anyone else of course, but just because you sell your games in downloadable format doesn't mean pirates are going to stop making torrents of those games.  I do admit that Valve seems less affected by piracy than other companies out there, but I just don't see how Mr. Newell can say piracy is a non-issue for them.  I'm sorry, but there's simply just no way its a non-issue.

As for consoles, Binkievanes is right.  There are tons of torrents for console games out there.  I know people who have some of those torrents and have yet to be caught.  Anyway, I've said my peace on this topic.

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Marthian

Valve tends to make great games, I don't remember one game they made that isn't good.

Of course, they do have some DRM to protect against piracy, but in all honestly, it isn't a pain in the ass unlike many other types of DRM. Plus, considering the fact there's not really a limit on how many times you can install a game (unless it's not using Steamworks, looking at you, Crysis.) Their software is also very community-friendly.

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compro01

Just because there are torrents of it available doesn't mean that they are having a meaningful effect on their bottom line, which is what actually matters.

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eikichi

HERE HERE!!

Every pirate would not have been a paying customer if they weren't able to pirate it.  They pirate because they can, they pirate because they couldn't afford it in the first place, they pirate to collect.  I dare say a fraction of the pirates would have been paying customers.  I also know that a lot of pirates will pay for the game later when the price goes down.

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JohnyC

QFT.

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stradric

It's nice to see when someone in the industry "gets it".  It's all about creating that service value.  Valve hits it on both fronts: developers get to use Steamworks for the majority of the netcode, and consumers get the community, manageability, convenience and sale prices.  It's a win-win all around.

Steam is not without its disadvantages though.  Games are typically priced the same as retail products, but clearly you're saving the publishers money in packaging and all that.  Why aren't consumers getting at least part of that savings?  Also, not being able to sell or even gift old games is annoying.  You should be allowed 3 re-gifts / year or something like that.  Also, not every game is available on Steam like EA and Blizzard games.  Battle.net approaches the usability of Steam at least, but Origin is just a bad copy.

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Peanut Fox

It's true that there isn't packaging, but Valve does get a percent of every game sold on Steam.  I'm curious to know what the whole sale cost of a game is to a retailer like BB, GameStop, or Wal-Mart.  Maybe even compare that to what a mom and pop store pays.  

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Caboose

I've found that the price of non-Valve games are the same as retail, but the valve developed games are usually lower in price. A bit. And they go on sale a helluva lot more often, which helps too. And some of them, hold their value a LOT longer than other games.

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praack

ok - I am not a game dev - have coded for the desktop Win environment though. usually all you check for are meeting base sys requirements including win version, disk space, memory, graphics mem (if needed)

Game devs check of course for direct x version as well - but I don't see much else- additional menu items- preconfig based on ystem scan ora set default and you then tweaked.

I don;t see much else- the Additional stuff may be providing information to be included in graphic driver releases for Crossfire or SLI rigs - but for a single Video Card? nah.

As for new CPU's? they are coping different architectures for the consoles  than with the PC which - no matter if you are Intel or AMD is still the same basic structure

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binkievanes

Initially I was opposed to Steam and found it to be very intrusive of my gaming experience, however with game developers coming up with all kind of stupid drm methods, I am almost a Steam fanboy now.

reason one: I build new pc's regularly : I cannot play my legal copy of Crysis 2 anymore ( 3 installs allowed), 60 dollars in the garbage can

reason 2: Battlefield 3 let me play multiplayer one ( 1 !!!) session, since then Punkbuster is kicking me , no matter what I try , half of my 60 dollars in the garbage

these were the negative reasons

positive: I build new pc's regularly, install steam , download my games and taadaa , back in business , just make sure to always have a back op of your save games

I had to go out of the country last year for three months, installed steam on a friends computer , dowloaded some of my games and taadaa , playing

MW3 : no standing in stupid lines, predownloaded and unlocked at release time .

So in short I have many reasons to be happy with steam, both for their service and for lack of it with their competition

 

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Engelsstaub

That is very well-stated. Steam is pretty great overall.

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Badg3r1977

This extract is complete boll*cks “Piracy's a scourge. It's had PC gaming pressed up against the ropes for years, remorselessly wailing away in what's easily one of tech history's most casualty ridden “victimless” crimes. It's sent countless developers fleeing for consoles”

 

The developers that are fleeing to the so called “pirate free” devices (consoles) are NOT doing so because its pirate free; they are doing so because its EASIER to code for one device rather than multiple hardware configurations.  They use the “Pirate Free” term as an excuse….  The term Pirate Free is lie; I know people who have pirate copies of every major title on both the PS3 and Xbox 360… so PLEASE, stop speaking SH*T and blaming PC gamers for being thieves when your so call angel console gamers are just as corrupt.

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Brad Nimbus

This is true. I know many more people who got a jatagged 360 or a simple dvd flash than pc "pirates''

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stradric

Piracy is much less of an issue on consoles.  You run the risk of getting your console banned from XBL or PSN.  So there is definitely an argument to be made that consoles are safer from pirates.  No one ever claimed that consoles are "pirate free."

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Caboose

Ehh, so you get banned from XBL or PSN. Neither of those systems prevents you from actually playing the game. If you want an update, you can manually download it and install it via a thumb drive (at least on the PS3, not 100% sure on the 360).

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stradric

Getting banned is usually enough of a deterrent to cause the masses to think again.  In fact, the whole process is more of a challenge compared to PC.  On PC, you pretty much just need to know how to use bittorrent and how to read a readme file that tells you how to apply the crack.  On PS3 or XBOX, I couldn't even tell you how to play a pirated game without looking it up.  Is a modchip required?  Some kind of softmod?  Either way, there are definitely more hurdles.

And no, the xbox doesn't support loading patches from external media.  They can only come from xbox live.  This is a non-issue on the xbox though because updates typically only take a few seconds, where as on PS3 it's like a 30+ minute process.  I'm sure if the update process on the PS3 wasn't so painful, Sony wouldn't allow updates from external media.

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Peanut Fox

Required updates are on the disc for the Xbox 360.  I haven't seen this be an issue in a long time, but it used to be that switching back and froth between certain games required you to install an update each time.  It wasn't much of an issue since the update files were really small, and applied themselves quickly. 

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binkievanes

just check the torrent trackers and you will find tons of xbox and ps3 pirated games

 

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AETAaAS

I don't even see Origin as a competitor to Steam. Its just something you have to install which piggybacks BF3. It is slightly annoying because it means you have to have your browser, Origin and BF3 itself running to play. I know some players boycotted BF3 because of Origin.

But anyway, this story is about Steam. I got on during the recent sale and was amazed at how easy things worked. And during what I must assume was the heaviest traffic they have seen in a while, I was still able to download at 8-10 MB/S.

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Slurpy

I don't think it can be claimed I'm boycotting BF3, because I've never bought one of the earlier versions, but this one looks fun enough that I would have bought it. . . if it didn't require Origin.  That was the dealbreaker.

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james888

anything and all things can be hacked. No one has found and easy way or was willing to share.

Otherwise... good for them for being a profitiable company and managing piracy affectivly

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stradric

Read that second sentence back to yourself and let me know if it makes sense to you because it sure doesn't to me.

"No one has found and easy way or was willing to share."

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